Click above to watch the first new video uploaded to my fallofautumndistro YouTube channel in over three years

I expect many “wth? I don’t remember subscribing to you” comments today.

My channel’s a bit of a variety showcase thing - vlogs, animations, music videos, parodies, and some artsy documentary stuff. If that all sounds like something you wouldn’t mind skipping over in your subscription box once or twice a week, oh man have I got a link for you!


Today I wanted to share a story about my friend Alan Lastufka. If you don’t know Alan, he runs DFTBA Records, has produced music with Tom Milsom and Luke Conard, among others, and used to make videos on the channel fallofautumndistro.

Back in 2008, when I was first starting to make videos and become a part of the YouTube community,  I was having a hard time getting any traction on my channel. Looking back now, the videos I was posting were awful, but back then I was getting frustrated that I wasn’t getting many views or subscribers. At that point, most of the friends I had on YouTube were people I already knew from the Harry Potter fandom, but I was really excited about the YouTube community and wanted to be a part of it. I had heard about Alan’s book YouTube: An Insider’s Guide to Climbing the Charts, and one day when I was in Barnes and Noble, I saw a copy on the shelf and read through most of it in one sitting. This was on April 13, 2009, and I sent Alan a YouTube message just telling him how much I enjoyed it and his videos.

I wasn’t really expecting a response, since I saw Alan as somewhat of a celebrity, having such a huge channel as fallofautumndistro and having been part of fiveawesomeguys with Alex and Charlie the previous year. But he did respond, and he subscribed to my channel and put me in the featured channels module on fallofautumndistro. This was huge, because every time someone would subscribe to fallofautumndistro, they would be asked if they wanted to subscribe to that list of featured channels, which now included mine. It was through that module that I got my first big burst of subscribers and regular viewers, and it gave me the confidence I needed to continue making videos and not give up. All I really needed was one friend who was “in” on the YouTube community, and that just opened up so many opportunities and made me even more invested in the community myself.

I’ve met Alan twice now, once in 2010 when a bunch of us went to his house for a weekend, and then just a month ago right before LeakyCon. I’m so happy that we’ve stayed friends this whole time, and I’m always inspired by how hard he works and how much he’s contributed to the nerdfighter community.

The reason I’m writing this post now is that Alan recently started daily vlogging on his new channel persistenceofvideo and he just finished the first week of videos. If you want to get a behind-the-scenes look at DFTBA (and follow the saga of the broken treadmill), you should definitely subscribe.

And the other moral of the story is that if there’s someone who has made something you love, or who you think would love something you’ve made, just send them an email and let them know. They just may surprise you and become one of the most important people on your way to success, and really, what do you have to lose?

Watch on

For hardcore fans only - the sound is substandard, and you can’t actually SEE Tom, it’s from a blog TV show…

Video Info: “tom plays ana ng which is originally by tmbg over skype or something while alan does something else and alex day is there too. this was a long time ago i’m kind of confused


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Can’t - Tom Milsom


Taking Leave is the first studio album co-written by Alan Lastufka and Tom Milsom, released on July 15, 2009.
released 15 July 2009 
All lyrics* by Alan Lastufka.

All music by Tom Milsom.

*except “Just A Boy” and “The Wind”, written by
Alan Lastufka and Darryl Kinley

Produced by Alan Lastufka
Recorded between December 2008-June 2009 
Distributed by DFTBA Records LLC
tags: various artists various genres Illinois

No bandcamp page when originally released. Alan released the PDF before the album came out, and I read it over several times before the album even arrived. It seems the link for it 404’s now. I wrote a review of it on July 26th, 2009 in order to receive the Taking Leave B-sides

Taking Leave cover art
The newest release from DFTBA records A collaborative effort from Alan Lastufka and Tom Milsom, this EP has lovely art to start off with. It adds to the atmosphere of the album, and the minimalistic three colors motif reflects the album’s attitude well.
“Which is what?” you ask.
The songs have elements of sadness, regret, and wishfulness; yet each character is moving (or has moved) on with their life a more knowledgeable (though maybe slightly less trusting) person.
Milsom’s soulful voice and arrangements along with Lastufka’s poignant lyrics make for a very pleasing and satisfying experience. The order of the songs is also nice, not one that you have to skip around on, a “listen to in order” album; it congeals.
If you are one who likes “layers” in a song I think you will enjoy this very much, the lyrics make you think, and none of them are just a drum and guitar.

I put this in and was reading along with the lyrics, the first song had me tapping to the beat on the cover.

Okay. Individual songs.

1. Just a Boy - The simplicity at the beginning lets you know that the character indeed feels like a child, and as he “grows” with the lyrics the instrumentation grows with him as well, getting progressively more serious. It builds and builds, and the drops you, because life dropped him too. I loved the chorus best.

2. The Wind - This has such a happy high notes at first you are expecting a happy song, for some I’m sure it is , but the lyrics took me in a different direction. For me it was about a girl wanting to leave a relationship, not getting caught up in one. I felt it was, yes, something she couldn’t control, but not something she wanted to be there. Flying for me is not always a good thing I guess? “she had no more choices than these, to live with the pain or the possibilities” Those possibilities are scary, But unknown is sometimes better.

3. Can’t - Believe it or not even though it has somewhat melancholy lyrics it still has an uplifting feeling. One of those songs that’s easy to identify with and put yourself in the position of the characters.
“he’s been destroyed, tears come falling from her trained toy, and with a sigh he can’t say why, but he can’t say goodbye”

4. The Mirror Song - This made me cry during my third listen, lyrics really hit me. Such a lovely, wistful tune, though I must say I wasn’t sure I liked Kristina on the track the first time, but now it “fits”. A certain person had probably never heard my voice clearer until I did something drastic like that either. It also inspired me to write a song that night.

5. Sparks Fly Upwards (orated poem) - If you don’t like poetry you might be tempted to skip this, but it’s in a nice place and the song ahead of it leads you in well.

6. Forgiven - Very despondent music and lyrics. I liked this, to me it’s about someone who tried a long time to be what they ( parents, church, society - pick one) said you were supposed to be, and figured out for him it’s a lie, and the tortured feeling that comes with that knowledge.

Song samples on Amazon
Order a tangible CD
Available on


(Alan Lastufka).
Forgiven (Running Ink Remix)
  • Forgiven (Running Ink Remix)
  • Alan Lastufka & Tom Milsom
  • Pieces of the Mirror: The Taking Leave B-Sides

Forgiven (Running Ink Remix) on Pieces of the Mirror: The Taking Leave B-Sides, available only if you wrote review of Taking Leave.

I’m actually not sure if you can still do this or not - but here’s the link

Oh, and if you haven’t purchased Taking Leave yet, you might want to, once the physical copies are gone, there won’t be another printing (is it a print when it’s a CD?).

At the time Alan linked to some nice reviews, BUT I don’t remember where they were…so…have mine?

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Hexachordal Sings About WheezyWaiter

So Cute.